- Earl Milton Johnston, 86, of Hancock, Maine, died Nov. 27, 2016, at his home. Earl was born in Hancock on July 21, 1930. He attended the old Mount Desert Ferry School and graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1948, after which he enlisted in the Army Air Force.
Growing up in Hancock with his older brother Richard and 46 first cousins from both the Clarke and Johnston families, Earl was related to many people in Hancock and from all over Maine. He worked on the Clarke family farm and also for summer families on Hancock Point. One winter he got to stay at the Peirce family farm in Bryn Mawr, Pennysylvania. He was also a Boy Scout with the Hancock troop.
After basic training with the Army Air Corps (forerunner of today's Air Force) in Texas, he was stationed in Savannah, Georgia and then in England, which he learned to love. He had a girlfriend there named Mollie for whom he named his only daughter.
Returning to Maine after four years in the service, he married his first wife, the late Mary Thomas of Sullivan; and they had three children. Earl built a camp at Molasses Pond, which became a popular hangout for both family and friends for both the summer and hunting seasons. Earl loved the woods and hunting and driving his snowmobiles and ATVs.
He worked for the New England Telephone Company for 35 years seeing many technological changes from the old-fashioned party line phones to dial phones to today's computerized and wireless systems. Earl loved having a computer.
He was a member of the Hancock Congregational Church for 72 years where as a boy, he sang in the choir; and later as an adult served as a trustee and deacon. When he married his second wife Betty, who became president of the Maine Woman's Club, he traveled with her around not only Maine, but as far away as Oklahoma.
Earl loved his community of Hancock, and served it well. For many years, he was the President of the Riverside Cemetery Association for which he kept the files and where he set out the American flags every Memorial Day. He served the town as a selectman several times.
He was a member of the Hancock Historical Society and was a lifelong caretaker of several summer places on Hancock Point.
Earl was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Phoebe Clarke Johnston, and by his older brother Richard. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth "Betty" Manchester and his three children: David, Dennis and his wife Lisa, and Mollie and her husband Bob Higgins of Waterford, Connecticut. He is also survived by five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, as well as his sister-in-law Stella Johnston and two nephews, John and Tom Johnston and their families.
The funeral will be held at the Hancock Congregational Church on Route One in Hancock on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at 2 p.m. A reception will be held in the church vestry. A private burial ceremony will be held at a later date.